Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Wild Weather

You know you're in for some heart-stopping action when a conversation starts out with some version of "Mom, I'm all right..."  That's about what happened yesterday afternoon as the Mister and I got back into cell phone range after a day spent at the cabin in the Sandhills.

#3 son calls to tell us that he was all right, but there were funnel clouds on the ground west of Sutherland. We had already guessed as much because we could see them in the clouds, but didn't realize they had actually touched down.  

There is one just slightly to the right of center in the picture below.
He was, we thought, safe in North Platte and planned to stay there for the duration of the storm. Silly us!

Because we were going in and out of cell phone service as we went up and down the hills, it was a few minutes and a few dropped calls before we could get in touch with #4 son, who was still at work. Naturally the call was dropped again before I could tell him to GO HOME!

His place of employment was the first place we stopped at as we got into town. It took some convincing, but he did agree to come with us to wait out the storm. Fortunately, his co-worker, who has friends living only a short way from the store agreed to stay. We felt really bad about leaving her stranded as we headed for the safety of our basement.

The hail and rain part of the storm started in earnest just about the time we drove in the driveway. Most of the hail was pea to dime-sized, but there were frequent golf-ball sized stones.
The ditch in front of the house was overflowing it's banks. At least in front of our house it was still flowing. As the ditch reaches the end of the street, there is nowhere for it to go, so it just backs up right into a friends house, then flows across the street into another yard. We only had minor water in our basement, but others weren't so lucky.
#4 son and nephew watching the storm. Note the hail on the roof. The insurance adjustors will be busy for the next few days. At about this time, #3 son drives into the yard. Seems he decided to drive home at about the time the storm reached it's height in Sutherland. 

The clouds shown below didn't actually turn into anything. It was just a crazy night of clouds building up, then dissipating. 
All in all, the Nebraska Outback's fared pretty well in the storm. We recorded just over 3.5" of rain in about an hour, while some areas of town had 5". There was lots of flooding and hail damage in the center of town, and many crop fields in the area were under water or took severe hail damage.

At about the time the National Weather Service was issuing the flash flood warnings, I got to thinking that we have no plan for emergencies, none at all. Unless you count listening to the TV, weather radio and watching the sky as a plan, which it isn't. Really need to work on that!

Thanks for stopping by. Really hope we can enjoy coffee in peace and quiet with no storm warnings for the next few days.

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